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cash paid for cooking utensils, table furniture, tea, coffee, sugar, pepper, allspice, &c., at least $50; two pair large blankets, and one yarn coverlet, $50; one case razors, containing four razors, and hone, and strop, $8; amounting in the aggregate to $836 75.
The petitioner, George Stockton, exhibits a similar list of charges against the United States, to the amount of $1,017 20. He states that some of his baggage was thrown overboard in the storm, and another portion of it stored at Black Rock, and lost in consequence of that place being captured by the British. It appears from the testimony of John Mason, jr., that only the mess boxes and barrels of whiskey of the claimants were thrown overboard.
Their clothing, which was the most valuable part of the baggage, was cap. tured by the enemy at Black Rock.
From the foregoing facts, the loss for which the petitioners seek redress was occasioned first by the storm, and second by the act of the enemy. In neither case can relief be granted. Government has never undertaken to indemnify accidents of the kind. In the case of Commodore Barney's flotillamen, decided at the session of the Congress, and of Captain Giles Kellog, decided at the 1st session of the 15th Congress, the principle is laid down, that, for the loss of clothes captured by the enemy, no remuneration will be made. The control which, it is alleged, General Harrison exercised over the baggage, cannot, in the opinion of the committee, vary the principle; for it was just such control as was incident to, and inseparable from, the service in which the officers were engaged. The commanding General was bound to make such disposition of the officers themselves, or of their baggage, as would conduce to the fulfilment of his other duties. Had the officers been killed in battle, or their baggage taken, it would have been regarded as an accident not devolving liability on Government, but a risk which the individuals themselves must have consented to incur.
But if the claim was admissible in other respects, the evidence adduced to support it is not such as has been required. The order from General Harrison directing the baggage to be left at Bass island should be produced, or a satisfactory reason shown for its absence. The following resolution is therefore submitted:
Resolved, That the prayer of the petitioners ought not to be granted.
• JONATHAN CROCKER.
JANUARY 4, 1831. Read, and, with the bill, committed to a Committee of the Whole House to-morrow.
Mr. CHILTON, from the Committee on Military Pensions, to which was
referred the bill from the Senate (No. 42) for the relief of Jonathan Crocker, made the following
Jonathan Crocker entered service in October, 1781, in Captain Pillsbury's company, Colonel Smith's regiment, Massachusetts line; served till November, 1784, and was discharged at West Point; was placed on the pension list under act of March 18, 1818; was stricken off, not having rendered his schedule, in March, 1829; made his declaration and schedule, and prayed to be restored to the pension list, because of his reduced circumstances and poverty, &c., &c.: whole amount of property in his schedule $112.
On 14th October, 1830, the said Jonathan Crocker made his affidavit, stating his poverty, and alleging that most of the property mentioned in his schedule of March, 1829, was expended, and that he was supported by the charitable aid of his relatives.
The deposition of Wheeler Watson, and that of Daniel Cartwright, fully support the declaration of Crocker, relative to his poverty and destitute cir. cumstances.
The committee report a bill for the relief of petitioner.
THOMAS WORTHINGTON-EXECUTORS OF.
JANUARY 5, 1831.
Mr. Foster, from the Committee on the Judiciary, made the following
The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the petition of
Eleanor Worthington, executrix, and James T. Worthington, executor, of Thomas Worthington, deceased, beg leave to report:
That, from the papers submitted to your committee, it appears that, in the year 1800, one Samuel Finley was appointed Receiver of Public Mo. neys at Chillicothe, in the then Northwestern Territory, now State of Ohio; and that the said Thomas Worthington, and two other persons, were the sureties of said Finley to the Government. In the year 1819, on closing the account of Mr. Finley at the Treasury, there was a balance ascertained to be due by him of $22,278 74, for which suit was instituted, and judgment confessed. Previous to this confession of judgment, however, Mr. Worthington, at the instance of Mr. Finley, wrote to the Secretary of the Treasury, asking indulgence, by his (Finley's) securing the amount due. In his letter to the Treasury Department, dated June 16th, 1819, Mr. Worthington says, “I would only ask that his (Finley's) account should be imme. diately closed, and that the balance against him be fully secured, and time given to sell the property to the best advantage.” He, in the same letter, tenders to the Government his services in making the proposed arrangements. Accordingly, in September thereafter, the Comptroller of the Treasury, under the direction of the Secretary, instructed Gov. Worthington to take a deed of trust from Mr. Finley and requested him to act as trustee. This letter was received by Gov. Worthington while the United States district court was in session. For the purpose of having the necessary dećds made out and executed with the greater correctness, and without delay, he immediately applied to the United States District Attorney, and submitted the instructions received. The Attorney advised that, instead of executing a dead of trust, there should be a confession of judgment, with stay of execution for one year. This course was agreed to by Mr. Finley, and the judgment confessed. At that time Mr. Finley was possessed of property to a much larger amount than the debt owing to the United States; and there is litte doubt that the debt would have been secured, if the course advised br Gov. Worthington, and directed by the Treasury Department, bad been pursued: but, before the termination of the year for which the stay of execution had been granted, other creditors of Mr. Finley had prevailed on
him to convey his property so as to secure them. In addition to this, it was discovered that Finley's title to the property held by him when he confessed the judgment was only of an equitable character, and, therefore, by the decisions which had obtained in Ohio, not subject to levy. Nevertheless, Gov. Worthington urged the Government to pursue this property by bills in chancery, confident that it might be subjected to the judgment obtained by the Government; and orders were issued by the Treasury Department to the District Attorney to pursue this course, but, from some cause, these orders were not obeyed.
It further appears, that, about the time these orders were given, the District Attorney of Ohio was instructed by the Agent of the Treasury to commence suit against Gov. Worthington, as one of the sureties of Gen, Finley. These instructions were given in the year 1822, in consequence of information communicated to the Treasury Department by the District Attorney, that Gov. Worthington intended to defend himself against his liability on the ground that the District Attorney, as the agent of the Government, had prevented the securing of the debt due by Finley as had been directed, and that the stay of execution which had been granted by the District Attorney had enabled Finley to dispose of his property so as to defeat the operation of the judgment, unless by the aid of a court of chancery, which seems not to have been sought. The institution of the suit against Gov. Worthington occasioned a long correspondence between him and the Agent of the Treasury, in which the former repeated', expresses the opinion that, “in equity and justice,” he was exonerated from his liability to the Government, and stated his determination to defend the suit which had been brought against him. In addition to the grounds already mentioned, Gov. Worthington complained that the Government had not pursued witth sufficient diligence the property belonging to the estate of one of the sureties who was dead, and contended that, if liable at all, only one half the penalty of the bond should be required of him. Distrusting, however, the validity of his de. fence at law, several propositions were made by Gov. Worthington to the Treasury Department, which resulted in his suffering judgment to go against him for the whole of the penalty of the bond, which was $10,000. Not long after this judgment was had, it was discovered that there had been a misunderstanding between Gov. Worthington and the Agent of the Treasury as to the terms on which the judgment was permitted to be taken without resistance-Gov. Worthington insisting that the Government had failed to comply with the conditions on which he withdrew his defence to the suit. It is true that, after the obtainment of the judgment, Gov. Worthington seemed to regard relief from it as hopeless; yet, in all his future correspondence with the Department, which continued up to the time of his death, and in which he frequently asked indulgence, he constantly repeated the opinion that, in strict justice, he ought to be discharged from all liability to the Government. His representatives, acting under the same opinion, alleging that the judgment ought never to have been rendered, and insisting that a judgment thus obtained should not be enforced by the Government, petition Congress for relief.
The committee, after a careful examination of all the facts, are of opinion that the petitioners are strongly supported in this application from several considerations. The indulgence of the Government for nineteen years to an officer holding public moneys (although it might not legally amount to a release of his sureties) may well be pleaded in an application like the pre